Thursday, January 28, 2016

Technology Integration & What to Consider

Technology in the classroom can be so exciting! Just thinking about getting the students engaged with all the activities you can pull up with just a click of a button is exhilarating. But what should we consider when we’re preparing a lesson using technology for our students? First and foremost, in my opinion, it is extremely important to consider the students that do not have access to such fast paced technology at home. To some students, writing on a chalkboard may seem like too slow of a process and you may lose their attention, to others it may be exactly what they need. This same situation can occur when using technology. For some, it may be exactly what they need to focus and get involved, to others it may be confusing and too much at one time for them to center their attention on it. With that being said, I think the best way to handle this is to always keep lessons at a “walking” pace. Even if 90% of your students know the system or application you’re using inside and out, walk the class through it as if they don’t. I won’t go so far as to say, not to incorporate technology because learning how to use it is vital to their learning, especially as they grow older, but be mindful. Secondly, we should be cautious not too assign too much out of class work that involves technology. We often forget how privileged we are or were as students ourselves, and we need to remember that some students do not have access to computers and/or Internet. Some students also do not have someone to drive him or her where they can use one. Thirdly, I think it is important to be well practiced yourself with whatever you are using. Students have limited time to learn inside of a classroom and it will help things move fluently if you are well acquainted with your software, system, application, etc. Technology has advanced rapidly over the past decade and it is our job to keep up. We need to ensure that any technology we integrate into the classroom is user friendly for both the teacher and the student and that it is free of any pop-ups or anything that can make a student feel unsafe. And finally, it is of upmost importance, to have fun with it! If all the precautions are taken to make sure each student feels that have an equal opportunity to get involved and learn from this technology then you have done your job. Technology opens up a whole new world of learning for students and they deserve to have access to this knowledge.

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